Not sure how to make myself happier

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    I am a nurse on a very busy inpatient med-surg floor with quite acute patients. I have been in this job for about 6 months and just continue to wonder if this is what I should be doing.
    A little background: I actually graduated with an ADN and worked in LTC while finishing my BSN for a year. I knew LTC was not what I wanted but it was what was available at the time while I was finishing my degree. When I finished my BSN I moved 8 hrs away from friends or family to get this job. The area I was from was not hiring new grads and my LTC experience didn't count. So I am now here with no friends or family and I am miserable. I know that the first year of nursing is always hard but I think I made it even worse for myself by moving so far away from everything I knew. I don't know what to do now. My goal when I moved here was to put in 2 years to get experience and confidence before trying to find a "dream job." I just don't know if I can do that anymore. Through school I had several jobs all lasting right around a year. When I talked to a nurse recruiter before taking this job, I was told that I should really stay in this job for at least 2 years to prove to future employers that I am not a "job hopper." I thought I would be able to do that but now 6 months later, I don't even feel like myself anymore. I do nothing but work. When I get home from work, I have no one to help me get my mind off of work. I'm an anxious wreck all the time and constantly feel like I'm just trying to hold myself together to get through the day. Even my days off, I am constantly thinking about work. I know that having friends in the area would help but that is easier said than done. I am not a very social person and making friends has never been easy for me. I feel like I can't talk to my family about my situation because I don't want them to know how miserable I am. I am really struggling to decide what to do to make myself more content with life.

    Truly this job is probably one of the better ones judging by the jobs I have read about on here. The floor I work on is very used to new nurses and there are several other new nurses that started around the same time I did (fortunately the ones I have talked to don't seem to be as unhappy as I am). There is a lot to learn and all of the staff is very helpful and supportive. Of course we are always short staffed but we all do our best to help each other out. I do rotate shifts which I am sure is not great for me either but it's not really an option right now.

    I have no aversion to going back to school but I don't know what I would do. I've thought about teaching or CNS in education but I feel like I should have more experience before doing that. I'm not sure what to do now to make life more bearable. Do I move back closer to where family and friends are and risk that putting a stamp on me that says I am a job hopper? Do I just stick it out and chalk this up to making me a stronger person? Do I go back to school? I really thought I liked nursing when I was in school and although I was anxious and nervous, my instructors told me this would make me a good, thorough nurse. I frequently wonder now though if I made the wrong decision. Any words of wisdom, encouragement, or just plain comfort would be much appreciated.
  2. 7 Comments so far...

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    Greetings ,

    I am terribly sorry that you are feeling this way. I moved from Florida to Chicago to be with my boyfriend.. but all we do is work to make ends meet and it's really hard for me to find a RN job in the city so I'm afraid I'm going to have to resort to moving away as well. And here we have his family and friends I made that get my mind off of terribly missing my friends and family at home.

    Even though my bf is here I feel alone sometimes because we work opposite schedules, and i've been trying to get myself involved in some outside hobby. The place I work now offers free cooking lessons and yoga.. so I was going to try one of the two or both just so I can feel like I am doing something other than working!!

    Did you have any hobbies in your area that you wanted to try, because I know that a lot of nurses envy you because the job market is so tough right now, it would be wise to stick it out. Or what about having an animal.. or like a cat. To be honest, cats are very low maintenance and a lot easier to please with a nursing schedule. Having an animal to come home to always made me happier.

    Again my heart goes out to you, and I hope you find something that will give you more comfort :redpinkhe
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    I identify w/what you are saying about being away from family...I moved 400 miles from the place I knew as home for 15 yrs 6 yrs ago..at the time my mom was living and moved w/me..one of my 3 sisters lived about 30 min from us and another one relocated to where we were living & my 3rd sister remained in Texas but visited....fast fwd to 2009 - my mom died unexpectedly after a short illness, my sister who had relocated here moved in w/sister in Texas..my sister who lives about 30 min from here has her kids and is going to school - I have not seen my two sisters in Texas since 2009 - the sister who lives closer I see a few times/yr because of schedules. I would LOVE to be closer to my other sisters in Texas..so, why don't I move? Because my spouse's family ALL live w/in 20 min of us..my spouse has lived and worked in this area all his life..I'm not sure he would be able to mentally/emotionally handle being out of the area/state though I know if I pushed he would go but how could I ask him to leave all he has ever known so I could live near what family I have left?..like you, I am alone a lot of time (except for my fur babies!)..I have accepted a M-F position that I will start later this month just so I will be around people more..like you, I don't have friends - all mine are where I use to live or live to far from where I am now to see them..the nurses I work with usually have kids (I don't) so, like the rest of us, their days off are spent catching up on family things. If I were in your shoes - no spouse/kids to consider, I would start applying at places closer to home - be honest and tell them you want to be closer to family and having relocated away is not working for you. The staying somewhere a year or two I can see people's points but you are wanting to move closer to family which would indicate a long term commitment. Time goes FAST and while work is important you need to consider LIFE overall as well. Wouldn't hurt to try to get closer...good luck.
    elprup likes this.
  5. 0
    Greetings,
    Hi, Been in similiar stuff too. It's hard being away from your main support people in a new & challenging situation. Are you in a city, town? Maybe you could look for groups in your area with similiar hobbies? Low maintenance pets are good idea. I love my cats. Is there anyone at work that you'd feel ok with hanging out with? Some other possible ideas are going to parks, museums, coffee shops etc & just talking to people that seem interested in some of the same things you are (Being a quiet person myself, I know thats really hard). Maybe you could walk around your neighborhood & meet a few neighbors & just say hi. best wishes.
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    I feel very similar. I moved a few states away from my familiy to be with my now-husband. We've lived here for 3 years now & I've been at my current job (a very busy inpatient oncology unit) for almost 2 1/2 years. I love my co-workers & for the most part my patients, however I feel down in the dumps much of the time. I work night shift & my hubby travels a lot. I do not have any family close by (and am such a homebody!) and only 1 or 2 friends that I try to see as often as I can. My days off are spent doing nothing around the house, or stressing about an upcoming shift. So disheartening. I'm anxious & panicky a lot. Have been wondering lately if I need to get out of nursing, I don't think I want to go back to school (too much $ and no real desire). I know this thread is kind of old, but know you aren't alone!!!
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    Hi there, if this helps you at all... I too am sailing the same boat as you. I haven't been at my job for 2 years yet but I am astounded at how much my work has affected me in ways I never thought possible. I mean, I rotate shifts a lot so those fake days that are considered my'days' off are really just my days for recuperation after working 3 PMs and need to turn around and work 3 AMs. Wow! I didn't know our bodies were cable of transforming our days and nights like that and still be able to care for our patients safely. I feel like its a never ending cycle. And the days I have off I think about the upcoming shifts I have to work. Work would be easier as well if we had adequate (safer) staffing, had more genuine teamwork, and more support from management to support these issues we are suffering over. I feel bad that you're only at your 6 month mark and are feeling this way. Just keep you head up and start quietly looking for positions elsewhere or do share days on a specific unit. Whatever it is... Just know that you're not alone. Not at all. I feel your pain too.
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    Is this common in us new grads, because I am miserable to the point of no return. i too moved away appx 350 miles from home, by myself, no friends here, i have always been independent so i've had acquaintances, and always had my 3 sisters around to have a great time so i never develop that skill to make freinds with people outside of my sister's and i's circle. But it;s gotten so filthy bad that Im not motivated to do NOTHING! i just go to work, come home and internally cry. and I know forsure I can be in a relationship right now, but this job has just paralyzed me in everything. to think i have about 1yr and 6 months left here to actually get my adequate experience to practice elsewhere, this might be another 1 yr and 6 mo of my life of pure miserableness, and wasted time. because i know i can be doing so much but this NURSING job, in this STATE, of HILLBILLIES, and REDNECKS, with this CITY girl, it just isn't molding so well. im miserable but I thank God for each day. i know now that this is a place in my life I wouldn't ever want to be again.

    I feel you 100%. as much as I have thoughout heavily of quitting nursing as a whole, do look at the positives. Some people cant find any work, and the luxury for me to be able to buy whatever I want now that I am so young, it's a privelege. i think of that every day as I am going to work, "I hate this, but it's a privilege, I dont worry about bills because they are all taken care off wel before I get paid, and I get so much extra to spoil myself when I want or need to.

    hang in there. Listen if you need someone to talk to, PM me, and we can chat a bit. It'll help to connect with someone who is feeling the same way Im feeling.
  9. 0
    Same boat but I am in a miserable job and leaving it for what I hope is a much better position for me on days with no LTC crap staffing nonsense.


    I am in need of some serious destressing.


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